I just can't not notice one thing. Female cadets average about 10 to 15 percent in our unit, and the other units I've seen at regional competitions. Yet, at the graduation ceremony, approximately 40% were girls. Well, it would be easy to dismiss such a discrepancy. But, are female cadets really over twice as likely to be chosen as leadership material based on merit? Or something else?
If you're honest, you know the answer.
I am tainted with my "privilege", seeing the world through my rose-colored glasses of fundamental fairness and meritocracy. If someone has worked harder, and produced better results, they deserve the rewards for their effort. I bear no ill-will toward the young women that worked hard and graduated with my son. But I can do basic math, and I understand statistics. And I also trust my own lying eyes. The female cadets are not twice as capable for leadership training as their male counterparts. Yet they are chosen at twice the rate as the males. But I know I'm living in a world where emotions and politics dictate policy. Hell, I'm sure some are bemoaning that the graduating class wasn't half women.
I also know that as good and accepting as my son's fellow cadets are, some are hurting. They know that they were as qualified, or more so, than other cadets that were selected. They were passed-over because they were the wrong gender. It is a hard lesson, and one that they will have to painfully learn over and over.
We can explore Title IX, and all the justifications for such actions. But I keep thinking of those cadets that didn't get a potentially life-changing opportunity because of politics.
It could have been my son. In the future, there's a good chance it will be. Quotas must be filled.
In today's world, we are fixated by monsters like the recently sentenced murderer in the Charlottesville rally. But what of the others at that rally? What drives such an anger and hatred? It's easy to say "who cares", but the victims of such violence deserve better. I don't (and never have) frequented that community of hatemongers. But it's easy to see that every time society favors one group over another, it increases already deep divides in our country.
People aren't born monsters. Monsters are made. And I think it's not only fair, but vital that we ask ourselves what role that our actions have in pushing people toward extremism. I am not excusing any for form of violence, bigotry or hatred. But such things do not develop in a vacuum. In our effort to make a more "just" society, are we using tools that create an opposite effect?
I'm sorry if I gored anyone's Sacred Cow. It's not my goal to injure or anger. But facts are facts. In my community, there are a couple of young men that didn't get an opportunity specifically because of their gender. How they process that anger will dictate the dialogue, and future of our country.
And quite frankly, if those young men ask, I don't know what to tell them.